Author Topic: Implementing EASY and shh/pat to help naps, now nights have gone wrong! 8 weeks  (Read 522 times)

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Offline Avondale

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My 8 week old has trouble settling for naps and in the evening. Silent reflux, coupled with a busy schedule with older children, meant that she would rarely settle in her Moses basket, becoming increasingly overtired.  Most evenings she won't settle till 11pm, having been awake since 5 or 6pm.

I've set this week aside to try and improve things.  Yesterday went really well, with me implementing a 3 hourly routine, and using shh-pat to settle her to sleep.  She responded well to shush-patting (it does mean I've had to allow her to sleep on her side which I'm a bit worried about), and settled well in the evening.  However, she woke at 2 hourly intervals from 10pm onwards. Previously she had been sleeping from 11pm to 4.30 or 5am, so I know she is capable of going a longer stretch. Her day was as follows:

E: 7.15
A
S: 8.30 (in pram on way to school)- 11.15 (I know this is too long)

E: 11.15
A
S: 1.15-2.20 (took 30 mins to settle from 12.45) in Moses basket

E: 2.20
A
S: 3.15-5.15 (in car seat)

E: 5.15
A bath around 6.30
E: 6.50
S: 7.30 ( took 30 mins to settle from 7)

Woke at 8.15pm but resettled using shh-pat
Woke at 10pm, fed, the resettled using shh-pat
Woke at 12.15, 2.30, 4.30, 6.15

What do you think has caused this? I'm feeling a bit discouraged to continue if improving daytime sleep means ruining nighttime sleep!

Looking forward to getting some suggestions, or encouraging words!

Offline creations

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Hello and welcome to BW forums :)

It looks like you've made a good start with shush/pat :)
I think the thing to bare in mind is that when you are implementing a new routine or a new method of soothing for sleep some disturbance is to be expected.  Having a few nights which are different to the norm may just be part of your LO adjusting to the new routine you are introducing and doesn't mean there is going to be a long term problem at night.  In the long term it would be expected that learning to self sooth to sleep would help both the day and night sleep.

With regards to sleeping on her side, it is fine to adapt the shush/pat if you would like your baby to sleep on her back. I always slept mine on his back and many people on the forums have adapted shush/pat to what suits them and their baby. Some people pat on on baby's back until drowsy (or asleep in those early days of sleep training) and then gently move LO to her back continuing to use a firm hand or a pat on her front/nappy area/hip.  Some people prefer to put down on the back right away and do patting on the front/hip, the patting doesn't need to be hard or cause any discomfort.  Mine did better with a rub/slight rock as patting seemed to make his reflux worse, this is also fine and the slight rocking motion can be weaned in the same way at patting by reducing reducing until LO learns to sleep alone.

Looking at your EASY the early evening NWs might have been due to a little OT (overtired) as the last A time is a bit longer at 1hr 45, this may also be a reason it took longer to settle her if she was a touch OT.  I notice earlier in the day when it took 30 mins to settle her to sleep it had also been a long A time of 2hrs.  Sometimes during sleep training the A times do get a bit long as LO is being shush/patted rather than held or in the car/pram and may find it harder to get to sleep. You might try a shorter A time and see if settling is easier - but in any case 30 mins does not sound unusual for a LO being taught the early stages of self soothing and independent sleep.  It should get easier with consistency and as your LO learns she is safe and fine to fall asleep being patted...and then without being patted :)

I would say that with older children to care for it is well worth doing as you are and having some of those nap times in the pram/car and some at home.  If you can keep the routine regular each day (eg first nap always in pram, second nap always in moses/cot etc) you are likely to see quicker results or find the whole routine goes more smoothly.

Keep in mind that there are many growth spurts at this young age too - extra night waking may might look like it is because of a new routine but could be due to hunger through a GS.
Are you putting the moses basket on an incline to help with the reflux?  Often prams and car seats are more comfortable for refluxers because they are slightly more upright in them so the acid stays down. I believe there may be aids to fit moses baskets such as wedges and blocks which might be worth looking into.

Looks like a great start even if it doesn't feel it right now - after all it looks like she was sleeping in her moses basket from 7.30pm until morning even if you did need to resettle her :)


Offline Avondale

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Thank you so much for taking the time to reply  :)

It is all very helpful, particularly what you say about taking a long term view.  Although last night was very disturbed, she did settle quickly each time she woke.  Hopefully over the next few days the nighttime wakings will reduce, and the days will stay as good as they have been today and yesterday (today has followed pretty much the same pattern as yesterday, except I reduced the length of her first nap). 

Your suggestion of shorter A times is also helpful.  Tonight she was awake from 4.20 to 7.00pm, an awake time of 2h 40 minutes, and she took much longer to fall asleep- 40 minutes.  I tried to get her to take a short nap at around 5.45, but without success.  Maybe tomorrow I'll give her a bath at 6pm and bring her final feed forward to 6.15 to see if that helps her to be less overtired.

I'm working on finding the best shush/pat technique.  Patting whilst she is on her back doesn't work as she is far too alert, and is distracted by seeing me! So far, the best I've come up with is to have her slightly on her side, then I tilt her onto her back once she's asleep.  It seems to be going ok, except I have a sore wrist from patting at an awkward angle  ::)

Thanks again for your advice.  I found the BW book really useful when I had my first child 11 years ago, and it's nice to return to such sensible advice. 

Offline creations

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You're very welcome.
Let us know how you get on :)